Two History Professors Become Presidential Chairs

By Elizabeth Romero, Student Intern CHASS College Computing
July 17, 2009

Professors Catherine Allgor and Michele Renee Salzman of the History Department have both been appointed as Presidential Chairs of the University of California.

The purpose of the chair is intended to encourage new or interdisciplinary program development or to enhance quality in existing academic programs of the University. Allocations collected to support the program will be provided annually to each Chair holder in which the allocated funds may be used to support instructional activities, research, or other creative activities of the Chair holder.

Professor Allgor states, in her opinion, that a Presidential Chair "is a representative of her institution to the larger world. Such scholars put a face on UCR and they should be prepared to convey UCR's mission." She continues to state that "Being made a Presidential Chair means a great deal to me-it was such an honor. And I also understand this position as a pledge of faith on both sides-along with honor comes responsibility."

Professor Salzman agrees with Allgor's statement: "I was delighted to be offered a University of California Presidential Chair. It is truly an honor and an opportunity for me, personally, and for UCR. Like Catherine, I agree that the Presidential Chair holder is a representative of the University of California; my lectures will enhance the reputation of the University and of the Riverside campus in particular."

Being selected as Presidential Chairs, will enable Allgor and Salzman to continue their research and to travel. Salzman's research focuses on the social and religious change in the later Roman Empire. She states that she "will use the resources provided by the chair to travel to research libraries to consult texts and scholars in Rome, Oxford U.K, and Dumbarton Oaks in Washington D.C." Allgor follows suit with Salzman (in which her research is focusing on the coverture in early United States) and states that "The Presidential Chair allows me the time to do my work--time to travel and write.  My scholarship will increase the visibility of the University in the academy and in the larger world."

Allgor also states that "The Presidential Chair should do something special for both undergraduate and graduate students. All of our students at CHASS benefit generally from having an active research faculty--I hope to increase that benefit. During my tenure as a Presidential Chair, I will teach some special graduate course and hope to inaugurate a large undergraduate lecture course that will inspire our students." Salzman comments, "My active research life will benefit the graduate program at UCR in Ancient History, enabling me to enrich their research and opening up new opportunities. I am also Director of the Tri-Campus Program in Classics (between UCR, UCI, and UCSD). So students on all three campuses will benefit from my new research. I am hoping to develop a new research seminar that will focus on my research."

It is clear that both Allgor and Salzman are ecstatic about their appointments. The Presidential Chair appointment will open doors for both Allgor and Salzman, and more importantly will open doors for students, faculty, staff, and others who will gain exponential knowledge from Allgor and Salzman's role as Presidential Chairs.

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